More War Thunder Guides:
- Heavy Tanks Guide.
- How to Kill Heavies.
- Taking Advantage of Ash River.
- How to Melee Fight with Tanks.
- How to Grind with the AMX-13 (SS.11).
- How to Play French Tier 1 Ground Vehicles.
- Overview of the Russian Air Fighter Tech Tree.
A guide on how to turn your weak BR 1.3 tank into a destruction machine, usable in up to BR 5.3 battles.
So you play the Soviet tree. If you're like many of us, you have researched the BR 1.3 Light Tank early on in the game. Now, you've grown, researched more and better tanks, and are stuck on researching that one you're super excited about. But you need so many research points, and these battles are getting a bit repetitive...
...Enter the BT-7 once more. If used right, this Rank I Light Tank can dominate that battlefield from afar, or blow the turrets off opponents at close range. This guide will teach you all you need to know about the BT-7 and its potential in battle.
In order to use the BT-7 in higher ranked battles, you'll want to ensure that it has been upgraded. If you need to, put your old vehicles back into your loadout and participate in some battles suited for its rank.
Once your tank is maxed out, get back into your comfort zone and bring it into battle. Now, the BT-7 is not like most other tanks in terms of its speed - this tank is very, very fast. However, being a light tank, it has very little armor and can be taken out easily when spotted. And to compliment that, being BR 1.3, it may have a harder time penetrating some armor than the tanks of respective rankings to the battle. For example, the T-34E STZ cane one-shot an M6A1 from anywhere on the tracks. But the BT-7 may have to aim in the corner to get a one-shot kill. One last thing: ALWAYS USE THE MOST POWERFUL SHELL. Using a default shell will lower your ability to take out higher ranked vehicles. Now that the basics have been covered, let's move on to the good stuff.
Compensating for Low Ranking
As stated several times previously, the BT-7 is only BR 1.3, as well as being a Light Tank. This means that in battles where your tank is outranked, your ammo load can be destroyed as easily as a hot knife through warm butter. This means that you have to use this tank's strengths in ground speed and reload time to counter its weaknesses in, well, practically everything else. This will be explained separately in order to show everything at its fullest. Starting now, we move into how to use the BT-7 in higher-ranked combat.
BT-7 Tactics: Using Speed
The BT-7 is well known for its speed on the ground, maxing out at 37 mph. A tank in BR 4.3 (ie. the KV-1 ZiS-5) are much slower. (The previously mentioned tank can only reach 22.7 mph. Because of this, taking advantage of the slower turret traverse speed on some tanks, you can zip past roads and spot tanks heading towards or away from your position. If you aren't good with close combat situations, you can help out your team as a scout using this method. If you are good with or prefer close combat, refer to Section 5: BT-7 Tactics: Reload Time and Close-Quarters Combat. Going back to speed, you can use the BT-7's quick turret traverse speeds combined with the agile ground speeds to skim past roads, and if you're lucky, get a direct hit to any helpless vehicles sitting in the road. This can also be used to get away from sticky situations. For example, say you're facing off against a Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. H (A German BR 4.3-4.7 Medium Tank), and the opponent lands a hit right on your turret. It takes out your Turret Horizontal Drive, Gunner, and Loader. While your gun may be completely disabled, your driver is still alive and your tracks are fine. You can use the tank's slim body to your advantage and pull right out beside your opponent. By the time their turret is pointed at where you used to be, you'll already be heading back to spawn to safely repair your tank. Once you're repaired, you can set back out to the battlefield.
However, with a damaged tank, you'll likely get instantly killed. Once your BT-7 is critically damaged, it's best to be a scout. In summary, the speed of the BT-7 can be used to go undetected in scouting, preform hit-and-run combat, and get out of situations you couldn't usually escape from in other tanks (The M10 being an exception, but this is the Soviet tree we're talking about here.) Now, let's move on to the next section.
BT-7 Tactics: Reload Time and Close-Quarters Combat
Note: If you are a player that hates close-range combat and prefers to find a vantage point and take out enemies from afar, you might want to skip to Section 6: BT-7 Tactics: Long Range Combat.
Now, for those like me who love getting into tight combat situations, this is the section for you. Things such as advantages, tactics, and yes, even a little bit of Russian Bias will be discussed. Starting it off, let's talk about the advantages the BT-7 has to offer in close combat. Most have been mentioned in the previous section (Getting away from opponents, hit-and-run maneuvers, scouting combat), but a huge one is exclusive to this section. That is Turret Traverse Speed. The BT-7 has an outstanding traverse speed compared to many higher ranked vehicles, meaning you can pull up to the side of something like an M6A1 and take it out before it even aims at you. And with me saying that, you may be asking "Well, what if you miss your shot and it's still alive? What do I do now that it's almost got its turret pointed at me?" Well, I have the answer to that too, and it lies in the same place as the traverse speed - the Reload Time. The BT-7 has a quick reload time compared to almost any higher ranked vehicle you'll be up against, standing at 3.8 seconds. (For comparison, the reload rate of the T-34E STZ is a solid 9 seconds.) You can take advantage of this in battle by circling an opponent so they won't be able to hit you, and then as you go around them repeatedly firing at them until they die. If the opponent has a high traverse speed, however, you can do something I do nearly every match: once you spot an enemy, you almost always shoot them. But sometimes, that shell bounces or does almost nothing. All you'll get out of it is a tank in pursuit of you. Once this happens, find a cornered off spot near the area and wait for them to come around. 8 times out of 10, they'll drive past your spot and see you, and by the time their gun is pointed at you, there will be a shell already in their ammunition load and they'll explode right in front of you.
This isn't the only way to win in close combat, however. You can also rush past opponents and hit their sides, most likely taking them out. This is relatively simple, as all you have to do is have your gun pointed down a road you're going past, and as you go by, if there's a tank in your sights, fire. If that doesn't destroy them, you have 2 options: either turn around and do it again, or go around the back of them and take them out. The first option is more dangerous, but will work on some occasions. This is most of what you need to know in close combat in the BT-7, the rest is basic knowledge of tanks. Now we move into long range combat.
BT-7 Tactics: Long Range Combat
The BT-7 is just like any other tank in terms of long ranged combat. You find a good point where it will be hard to see you, wait for an enemy to go by, and fire at them. There's not much to say in this section, other than that it will be harder to penetrate enemies in this tank, being BR 1.3. Just try to find a spot not too far away, but a far enough distance that you won't be spotted easily, and play like you would any other tank.